APPENDIX A: Where can I get the current version of this FAQ?
E-Mail: send a message to Joan King at firstname.lastname@example.org , and say “Send me the FAQ please!”
Or download it from www.hepcbc.ca
Or write to HepCBC, 306-620 View St., Victoria, BC, V8W 1J6
Or call 250-595-3892.
There is a Spanish version and a French version, as well, not yet updated.
Below are shown common medical abbreviations that HCV people often come across.
ALT - Alanine aminotransferase - a protein (liver enzyme) which, when found in the blood in elevated quantities, generally indicates liver damage. Also sometimes called SGOT.
ANTIBODY - A protein secreted by cells of our immune system in response to infection. The antibody binds to an “enemy” molecule, in this case, a specific part of the hepatitis C virus. This is meant to prevent the virus from infecting other cells or destroy it. As with other viral infections, the presence of antibodies does not necessarily mean a virus will be eliminated from the body.
ASCITES - The accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.
AST - Aspartate aminotransferase - A protein which, when found in the blood in elevated quantities, generally indicates liver damage (although less specific for liver damage than ALT). Also sometimes called SGPT.
BLOOD & BLOOD PRODUCTS - Components of blood including red cells, platelets and plasma which are separated out by blood banks. Plasma is processed and purified to produce specific medical purposes, e.g., Factor VIII.
BREAKTHROUGH - Relapse during treatment, in spite of a complete initial response.
CARRIER - Practically all people who are HCV+ “carry” the virus. The term “carrier” is often misused, though, to mean someone who has the hepatitis C virus yet is in good health. In regard to hepatitis C, the term “carrier” is used less and less. Better definitions of illness status include “antibody positive” or “antibody negative”; “symptomatic” or asymptomatic”. Most important to note is that all people who are hepatitis C antibody positive need to be aware of potentially passing on the virus.
CBC - complete blood count
CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA agency), responsible for estimating prevalence rates and making epidemiological studies
CIRRHOSIS - A condition where scar tissue develops in the liver - to the extent where such scaring becomes extensive and permanent. Cirrhosis interferes with the normal functioning of the liver.
COQ10 - co-enzyme Q10, a naturally occuring substance which some patients find helpful; available without prescription
DHHS - Dept. of Health and Human Services (USA agency)
EVR – Early Virological Response. Undetectable viral load at 12 weeks of treatment
FATTY LIVER - Abnormal lipid increase in the liver, probably related to reduced oxidation of fatty acids or decreased synthesis and release of lipoprotiens, causing inadequate lipid clearance from the liver.
FDA - Food and Drug Adminstration; a USA agency which regulates drug approvals, nutritional supplements, and food quality and labeling
FIBROSIS - Scar formation resulting from the repair of tissue damage. If it occurs extensively in the liver it is called cirrhosis.
GENOTYPE - Different genotypes or strains of the Hep C virus are similar enough to be regarded as the same virus but have some minor differences in their RNA composition. These differences in the genotypes may mean the virus reacts differently to our immune response or to drug treatments and natural therapies.
HCC - Hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer.
HCV - Hepatitis C Virus
HEMOCHROMATOSIS – An excess of iron absorption and presence of iron-containing deposits (hemosiderin) in the liver, pancreas, kidneys, adrenals, and heart. It may be associated with hepatic enlargement and insufficiency, and esophageal bleeding from varices.
HEPATIC COMA, CHOLEMIA – A peculiar syndrome characterized by slow or rapid onset of bizarre behavior, disorientation, flapping tremors of extended arms, and hyperactive reflexes, and later lethargy and coma. It seems to be caused by intoxication with ammonia, a product of protein digestion that the diseased liver fails to convert into urea.
HEPATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY - A serious complication of advanced liver disease probably caused by cerebral toxins, including ammonia, certain amines, and fatty acids. It is clinically manifested by personality changes and impaired intellectual ability, awareness, and neuromuscular functioning.
HEPATIC FAILURE, FULMINANT – A clinical syndrome caused by extensive necrosis of the liver, which may be induced by hepatoxic drugs and may lead to progressive encephalopathy and a fatal prognosis.
HEPATIC NECROSIS - Destruction of functional liver tissue.
HEPATITIS, VIRAL - Acute or chronic inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis virus A, B, C, D, E, G
HEPATOMA - Tumor of the liver.
IFN – Interferon
INTRAHEPATIC BLOCK - block within the liver, or - EXTRAHEPATIC BLOCK: block within the portal vein.
IVDU - Intravenous drug use or user
IVIG - Intravenous gamma globulin
NUCLEOSIDE ANALOGUE – a synthetic antiviral drug that interferes with the activity of the viral enzyme reverse transcriptase
NIH - National Institutes of Health (USA agency); largest medical research institution in the world
NON-A NON-B HEPATITIS - The old term for hepatitis not caused by the A or B viruses. In 1988, this form of hepatitis was shown to be mainly caused by HCV.
NON-RESPONDER - A person who previously failed to suppress HCV RNA
NSAID - Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; examples: naproxen, ibuprofen; used for pain PCR - polymerase chain reaction; a DNA technique used for identifying viruses and other life forms Peg-IFN - Pegylated Interferon
PORTAL HYPERTENSION - A portal venous pressure greater than 20 mm Hg is associated with an enlarged spleen, increased collateral circulation, varicosity, bleeding and ascites.
RBV – Ribavirin
RELAPSER - A patient who experienced a re-emergence of HCV RNA following discontinuation of therapy
RVR – Rapid Virologic Response. Undetectable virus at week 4.
SGOT - (See ALT)
SGPT - (See AST)
SSA - Social Security Adminstration (USA agency), responsible for retirement and disability benefits
SSDI - Disability benefit program form the SSA (USA)
STANDARD THERAPY – In 2011, standard therapy is pegylated interferon, ribavirin, and a protease inhibitor.
STEATOSIS – Fatty liver. Abnormal lipid increase in the liver, probably related to reduced oxidation of fatty acids or decreased synthesis and release of lipoprotiens, causing inadequate lipid clearance from the liver.
SVR – Sustained Virological Response, or undetectable virus 6 months after the end of treatment
VIRAL LOAD - The amount of virus present in a person’s bloodstream. It is usually measured by the PCR quantitative test and the result is given in number of virus particles per mL of blood.
Some recommended web sites (in no particular order) ARE:
Peppermint Patti’s Junk Drawer: http://members.bellatlantic.net/~clotho
HepCBC: www.hepcbc.ca, Email: email@example.com
HCV Advocate: www.hcvadvocate.org
Hepatitis Education Project: www.scn.org/health/hepatitis
American Journal of Gastroenterology: http://www-east.elsevier.com/ajg/
British Medical Journal: Search All Issues: http://www.bmj.com/all.shtml
Hepatic Pathology Index: http://www-medlib.med.utah.edu/WebPath/LIVEHTML/LIVERIDX.html
Hepatology: Search Abstracts
HIV and Hepatitis.Com: www.hivandhepatitis.com
Journal of the American Medical Association: http://jama.ama-assn.org/
Mescape Hepatitis C Resource Centre:
New England Journal of Medicine:http://content.nejm.org/
Reuters Health Information: http://www.reutershealth.com/
Ask Emaliss - Hepatitis Info Support: http://www.askemilyss.com/
The Hepatitis Foundation International Online (NJ): http://www.hepfi.org/
Scotty (the.Reezer) Warren’s Hepatitis HomePage: http://tinpan.fortunecity.com/floyd/587/index.html
The Hepatitis Information Network: http://www.hepnet.com
The Canadian Liver Foundation: http://www.liver.ca
"Sandi's Crusade Against Hepatitis C": http://creativeintensity.com/smking/
Melissa Palmer, MD, a Hepatologist in New York: http://www.liverdisease.com/
UNOS Website (Transplant): http://www.patients.unos.org/tpd/frminfo.asp?org=LI&tab1=info
Clinical Trials www.clinicaltrials.gov
CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service: http://www.centerwatch.com
RxList - The Internet Drug Index: http://www.rxlist.com
Schering-Plough (manufacturers of Intron-a): http://www.hep-help.com
Hepatitis Weekly: http://www.newsrx.com/home/main.asp?wasp=03x1mb0852g9vldbb2e7
Columbia University Diseases of the Liver: http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/gi/disliv.html
Current Papers in Liver Disease: http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/gi/references.html
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD):http://www.aasld.org
American Liver Foundation (ALF) Homepage: http://www.liverfoundation.org
Health Care Information Resources: http://www-hsl.mcmaster.ca/tomflem/top.html
PovNet A great Canadian Resource site for disability and human rights issues
Anonymous is your source for Hepatitis C information, support and more.
Members are individuals from all walks of life, relating to each other in friendship and mutual accountability.
Medline Plus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hepatitisc.html
Alternative Medline: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/alternativemedicine.html
Wendy’s Wellness http://www.wendyswellness.ca
Hep C in Queensland: www.hepqld.asn.au
Info for Teens: http://www.teenhealthcentre.com
Hepatitis C FAQ (russian) http://gepatit-c.ru
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